Fashion Friday: An Interview with Betty Riaz of Stil Boutiques

photo by Tim Gray
I am so excited to share this little interview with you all! I met the incredibly fashionable and incredibly sweet Betty Riaz through my yoga class (an added benefit from all that downward dogging- the cool class mates). Betty owns the chic Stil boutiques in the Chestnut Hill and Prudential Malls, and is always busy traveling somewhere fabulous in search of the even more fabulous to sell in her shops. Consistently swathed in something genuinely unique and gorgeous, Bostonian’s look to Betty as a guide for what to wear and what’s hip. I mean, she looks better in yoga class than I do after spending an hour getting ready for a meeting (oh, and she answered these questions while sporting my dream shoes!) So here is a peek into Betty’s world, along with some helpful tips for us all on how to dress a little cooler.

What are your three favorite things in your stores right now?
1. A beautiful hand tied dyed, limited edition scarf by Naja Munthe , a danish designer. $398

2. Mulberry bags- Groovy Tumbled Sheepskin Leather with Suede and crackled Metallic. $1,197

3. Necklaces by Camilla Gallacher from London. Amazing Handmade one of kind Necklaces ranging from $380-$450. Note from Erin: (Hellloooo lover…get on my neck!)

How did you get started in the fashion world?
I got started in Fashion 20 years ago when I worked directly for a designer in LA, who is no longer around. I was able to learn the whole process of designing, manufacturing, and retail. Then I worked for Charles Galley, an amazing Boutique owner in LA. We had loads of starlets as our clients. We personally styled most of them ourselves for photo shoots, video shoots and award ceremonies.

What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job has so many facets. The amazing wardrobe possibilities, the buying process, the taste makers and the travel.
Buying for the store gives me a sense of pride when I see people agreeing with my taste. Traveling to Europe and meeting wonderful people in the fashion industry gives me a broader perspective on international style. Attending Fashion Shows in NY and Europe is so exhilarating. Once you see the clothes on the runway, it is so much easier to understand the mind of the designer and therefore sell the clothes in the shop.

What are your favorite trends for spring/summer 09?
– Hardware and Grommets on Accessories
– Gladiator shoes and sandals.
– Tiered skirts
– Floral Print dresses
– Multi Chain Necklaces – Preferably Long
– Leather in various forms
– Drapey Dresses
– THE 80’s Baby – Tuxedo Jackets, leggings, oversized flowey tops, boyfriend jeans and blazers.

What current trend makes you cringe?
Overly Boxy Shoulders that are padded. Madonna’s outfit that she wore to the Met last week- she’s too old to be wearing that!

How can someone who tends to dress really “safe” break out of their comfort zone and dress more creatively?
-ACCESSORIZE. Add the belt at your mid-waist to any dress or sweater. Throw on a necklace with every outfit.
-Wear scarfs. Lots of them. Wrap them any which way to look like a cool New Yorker. Don’t forget the sunglasses!
-Layer, Dammit!! Buy a vest or 2. Pair it with a ribbed tank, skinny jeans and some sexy booties and you have an amazing outfit.
-If you are on a budget: do the following. Go to Barney’s, Niemans and SAKS. Look closely at all the designers and the styles. Spend some time trying on clothes to make sure you know which styles look good on you. Then take a trip to Zara, H&M or Top Shop!
-Wear a little makeup for goodness sake. Eyeliner, lipstick and some cover-up usually do the trick. It does wonders for your social life.
What and who influences you when buying for your stores?
My influences for buying range from everywhere I go and who I meet. My main influences are Designers like Vivienne Westwood, Danish Designer Camilla Staerk, Malene Birger and Munthe plus Simonsen.I also have heavy influence from Eastern Countries like India, Pakistan, UAE and
my travels influence me as well- Playa del carmen, Paris, London and of course NY!

Thanks Betty! If you are in Boston (or visiting) sure to check out Stil !

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